Saturday, 28 February 2015

First Video Blogpost

Hello little bookworms I have decided to do my first ever video blog post please excuse the waffling and constant use of ABSOLUTELY ! Hope you enjoy this weeks wrap up. xXx

Friday, 27 February 2015

First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan

Happily-Ever-After isn’t on Emily Donovan’s agenda… Emily’s been too swept up in a challenging year of firsts, from becoming a stand-in mum to her niece Lizzy to moving to remote but beautiful Puffin Island, to think about love. But that’s before charismatic local yacht club owner Ryan Cooper kisses her…
Ryan knows Emily has a complicated past that she’s struggling to face. So he makes it his mission to help her unwind and enjoy the chemistry they share. 
Can the welcoming community of Puffin Island work their magic on Emily and get her to take her biggest leap of trust yet —putting her heart in someone else’s hands? 

 I first came across author Sarah Morgan when I picked up her first book in the Snow Crystal trilogy and after devouring them and fan girling over the gorgeous O'Neil brothers I was so disappointed that they had come to an end. When I heard that Sarah Morgan was going to be bringing us a new trilogy set on Puffin Island I was looking forward to reading more books by her but I was sceptical that I would enjoy the new trilogy as much as Snow Crystal.

Emily Donovan's life has reached a massive turning point, she has just been dumped, lost her job and now finds herself the guardian of her niece Lizzy after the death of her sister Lana problem is Emily has never met Lizzy and she also doesn't know the first thing about looking after children and is so scared of doing it wrong but one thing she knows is she needs to get Lizzy to a safe place where no one will recognise her and so she takes her to Puffin Island. With emotions running high Emily doubts her ability to look after her but will the help of a sexy local man help?

If you are reading this review Sarah Morgan then I am sorry I doubted you! I was immersed in this storyline straight from the off, and anyone who loved the Snow Crystal books will adore this book too, I can not wait for the next book in the series already.

Sarah Morgan has a beautiful way of setting an idyllic scene, Puffin Island just sounds like just the place I would like to spend my time. I loved the sense of community spirit that was in this book, everyone is so friendly and supportive so you can imagine what an uplifting read this book was. 
We have the testosterone flowing through this book which is something that this author seems to deliver well I would love to see the kind of eye candy she gets her inspiration from! Ryan was not only oozing sex appeal and confidence but he was also very caring and a gentleman too. I liked that we were kept guessing for a lot of this book about his background it made his character more intriguing. Emily was a great character too and again we know something horrific has happened to her in her past but we are left guessing for some time and I was shocked when the truth came out it wasn't what I was expecting.

I love the comforting feel to this book, it was a slightly steamy, romantic and entertaining read and I can not wait for the next book Some Kind of Wonderful to be released.

Kindle                     Paperback

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn't be happier. Because Polly is in love: she's in love with the beautiful seaside town she calls home, she's in love with running the bakery on Beach Street, and she's in love with her boyfriend, Huckle.

And yet there's something unsettling about the gentle summer breeze that's floating through town. Selina, recently widowed, hopes that moving to Mount Polbearne will ease her grief, but Polly has a secret that could destroy her friend's fragile recovery. Responsibilities that Huckle thought he'd left behind are back and Polly finds it hard to cope with his increasingly long periods of absence.

Last Year Jenny Colgan delivered the beautiful Little Beach Street Bakery where we got to see Polly Waterford rebuild her life down at Mount Polbearne, I loved the book so much I was so disappointed that it had to end but knowing that there would be another book in the series made it a little more bearable even if it does feel like I have waited so long for the second book but having just finished reading Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery I can tell you it has been well worth the wait.

Polly is loving life on Mount Polbearne she is enjoying working in the Little Beach Street Bakery doing what she does best and to top it off she is in love with Huckle and has pesky little Neil around too. But although the sun is shining a storm lays ahead that looks set to wreak havoc with all Polly knows and loves.

This is yet another book that Jenny Colgan has delivered that is absolutely flawless. I read this book in one sitting but was battling with myself because I was so compelled by this storyline that I just needed to see what happened next but as I was coming to the last few chapters of the book I then had that panic of oh no its coming to an end again but I couldn’t slow down this was like the Pringle slogan once you pop you just can’t stop! The storyline was heartwarming and dreamy and in true form this had managed to capture my attention and made me feel wrapped up in this little community, I have such a longing to go and visit Mount Polbearne as the writing style really makes this feel like such an idyllic setting.

It is an uplifting bright read and I really felt in that bright happy Summery mood reading it (until I looked out the window). The lovely Neil takes another starring role, I don’t think I have ever had such a love for an animal character in a book but I am like an excited child when he makes an appearance in the book!

There are also Jenny Colgans deliciously good recipes back again and I am determined to attempt to make one this time around. This could be read as a standalone book because the author has such a wonderful introduction to the book where it feels like she is sitting down with us with a cup of tea having a little chat to us about the main points in the previous book and I love this little touch but I do urge you to read the previous book first because it is such a delightful read you wouldn’t want to miss out.

I am pretty sure going on the ending of this book that there is a great possibility for a third installment so I am looking forward to visiting Mount Polbearne again and catching up with this humble cast of characters again. I cannot recommend this book enough if you loved Little Beach Street Bakery then you will not be disappointed with this book.

Kindle                     Paperback

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Dandelion Years by Erica James

Ashcombe was the most beautiful house Saskia had ever seen as a little girl. A rambling pink cottage on the edge of the Suffolk village of Melbury Green, its enchanting garden provided a fairy-tale playground of seclusion, a perfect sanctuary to hide from the tragedy which shattered her childhood. Now an adult, Saskia is still living at Ashcombe and as a book restorer devotes her days tending to the broken, battered books that find their way to her, daydreaming about the people who had once turned their pages. When she discovers a notebook carefully concealed in an old Bible - and realising someone has gone to a great deal of trouble to hide a story of their own - Saskia finds herself drawn into a heart-rending tale of wartime love...

I am ashamed to say I have never read a book by Erica James and I have just finished reading The Dandelion Years and if her other books are as breath-taking as this one then I really have been missing out and have a lot of catching up to do.

Saskia Granger lives with her father Ralph and her two Grandfathers Harvey and Oliver, an unusual set up but one which has worked perfectly well for the foursome but with Saskia now in her 30’s they gentleman are keen for her to fly the nest and have an adventure but they are worried they are holding her back. An exciting discovery of a hidden notebook looks set to give Saskia a new adventure as she reads about a war time romance and the need to find out how the notebook has made its way into her hands as surely no-one would knowingly have thrown it away.

I need to apologise now as I do not feel my review will give this book the justice it deserves. The author has delivered such a beautifully crafted book that really had me captivated the whole way through. From the storyline to the charming characters and the beautiful writing style this was just a remarkable read.

This is a dual time read which I don’t usually favour as I always find myself drawn to one or the other sides but the balance in both the present day and the war time was perfect in this book and I found myself equally intrigued by Jacob and Kitty’s story as well as enjoying the more modern feel to Saskia and Matthews lives too. I adored all of the characters in this book they were all a little quirky and some a little introverted and I loved the unusual family set up of the Granger family I found this really touching.

I was as gripped as Saskia when reading Jacobs notebook and just as she wanted to know more so did I. I also really enjoyed the love of books that shines through in this book, Saskia is a book restorer and her father Ralph has a book shop and he buys and sells old books so this was something else that really caught my attention.

I did have an idea of how the book would end but it really didn’t matter because it was such a beautiful journey to get to the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I have definitely found a fantastic new author and I can not wait to read another of her books although they will have a lot to match up to with this book.

Hardback                       Kindle

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Secrets Sisters Keep by Sinead Moriarty

The Devlin sisters rely on each other - but some things are just too painful to share, even when your sisters are your best friends ... Mum-of-four Julie thought that if her family had more money, life would be easier. But now that they've inherited a fortune, her problems are only starting. Lawyer Louise is used to having life go exactly as she wants it to. So accepting that she cannot control everything in her world is beyond her. And former model Sophie can just about cope with getting older - that's until her ex-husband finds a younger model. All three women think that some battles are best fought alone. Maybe they need to think again ...

The Secrets Sisters Keep is the first book I have read by author Sinead Moriarty and if her other books are as good as this I will be working my way through them all.

This book is about three sisters Julie, Sophie and Louise they are a tight family unit but each of the ladies lives seem to be in turmoil at the moment and sometimes when you are in so deep you can’t turn to those closest to you which is what we see with these sisters. Sophie had everything and lost it all and now she is a single mum who is trying to bring up daughter Jess with strong values to make sure she works hard and relies on no-one but daughter Jess is bored of this talk and just wants to spend time with cool Pippa her new step mum! Louise is a single mum who is very career focused and both her and her daughter like routine but people are trying to label her daughter and she will not stand for it. Then we have Julie who is mum to triplets and the lovely little Tom, they have just had their lives turned upside down when husband Harry is left a small fortune but it goes to his head leaving poor Julie lonely. At times like these it should be family that you can rely on.

This was a wonderful read the opening chapter had me giggling away and I felt like I had already been captured by this storyline. The author has a very easy writing style and sets a perfect pace for this book. The chapters alternate between each of the sisters and there is never a dull chapter, each of them are going through very trying times in their lives which not only affect them but also their families. When the book began it felt like a nice light easy read but as the storyline progressed and we got to know the characters and their problems more it soon took a different path and become a more emotive and tender read and I think because my spirits were lifted in the beginning of the book by the time some of the problems were revealed I actually had a lump in my throat.

When we first met each of the sisters Louise was the one I warmed to least but by the end of the book she was my favourite. She came across as a very hard and cold character and although she clearly loved her daughter she seemed to be so career focused that she didn’t see the problem with her daughter and refused to listen to others but towards the end of the book it soon became clear that this wasn’t the case and she does have a heart it is just something that is hard for any parent to accept.

The book touches on a delicate subject and also of typical family problems that people face. You will be laughing one minute especially with the scene in Stars and Stripes! Then in the next your eyes will be glazing over, I enjoyed each and every page of this book and I can not wait to try another book by this author. 

Kindle                    Paperback

Friday, 20 February 2015

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood … 

Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country. But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades. 

As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?

I seem to be reading a lot of crime thrillers this year which is not my typical genre but there have been some great releases this year and social media is buzzing about them but I have just finished reading Silent Scream by Angela Marsons and I have to say it is definitely the best one I have read this year.

D.I Kim is called to the murder of a head teacher but what Kim didn’t expect was that the murder would lead to a massively disturbing case of horrific murders that happened in the past and the murderer is still on the loose.

This was such a pacey read and I was so enthralled by this storyline. We are introduced to a vast amount of characters in such a short space of time which had me on alert and suspicious of everyone! It was a gruesome and disturbing  read in places but this only added to the appeal to the storyline and made me route for Kim to find the murderer.

D.I Kim was a hard flawed character which worked well as a main character because as well as the suspense of the murder case there is also intrigue into what has happened in Kim’s past to make her such a loner and brutal character.

I had two suspects in mind but the storyline isn’t predictable so I enjoyed uncovering the clues with D.I Kim and there was a twist that I didn’t see coming. The storyline was action paced and didn’t feel like it was being stretched out at any point.

This was a captivating read that I read in one sitting and currently this book is amazingly only 99p on Kindle and all I can say is it is worth every penny of that and more, I will be picking up future releases by this author and will be recommending this book too.

Kindle                    Paperback

Thursday, 12 February 2015

A Vintage Wedding by Katie Fforde

In a small Cotswold country town, Beth, Lindy and Rachel are looking for new beginnings.
So they set up in business, organising stylish and perfectly affordable vintage weddings.
Soon they are busy arranging other people's Big Days.
What none of them know is that their own romances lie waiting, just around the corner ...

I can never resist a new Katie Fforde book and after having a sneak peak of A Vintage Wedding in A Christmas Feast I have been eagerly awaiting the release because I loved the three main characters straight away even just in that little taster.

Lindy, Beth and Rachel are all in a rut and need something to focus on and bring in the money. Between the three of them they pull all of their skills and interests together and begin a new business arranging weddings for brides on a budget. As they plan beautiful weddings for the stunning brides will the romance finally rub off on the ladies too?

Oh I am so disappointed that I have finished this wonderful book, I actually came home today looking forward to delving back into this book forgetting I had finished it last night!
Yet again Katie Fforde delivers such a perfect, gentle and uplifting read that grabs your attention straight from the start.

Our three main characters are all genuine hardworking and enthusiastic characters, they are determined to make a real success of their new venture. All three of the women brought something different to the storyline, Rachel was the uber organised clean freak and I could feel her tension through the pages at the sight of each spec of dirt! Lindy was a down to earth mum to two young boys and lives in chaos and is looking forward to something new to focus on and the money will sure help her and the boys. Then we have Beth who is new to the area and is living in her sister in-laws second home but she needs to start making something of her life and start putting down roots.

Other than the Vintage Wedding business there is something else the women have in common and that is their disastrous love lives, and even during this book the romance was definitely had its ups and downs.  What I loved the most was watching the friendship that formed between the Lindy, Beth and Rachel, they built such a strong bond and the only thing that was unrealistic was how quick they took the plunge to go into business together but it was so easy to overlook that because of the great friendship and delightful uplifting storyline.

This was another hearty read that shows the authors skillful writing style and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every chapter and I know I will be recommending this book all through the year.

Kindle                    Hardback

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Ivy Lane by Cathy Bramley

From spring to summer, autumn to winter, a lot can happen in a single year . . .

Tilly Parker needs a fresh start, fresh air and a fresh attitude if she is ever to leave the past behind and move on with her life. As she seeks out peace and quiet in a new town, taking on a plot at Ivy Lane allotments seems like the perfect solution.
But the friendly Ivy Lane community has other ideas and gradually draw Tilly in to their cosy, comforting world of planting seedlings, organizing bake sales and planning seasonal parties.

As the seasons pass, will Tilly learn to stop hiding amongst the sweetpeas and let people back into her life – and her heart?

I had seen the Ivy Lane kindle books which were released as installments and I was keeping my eye on the reviews which were mainly all positive, I was so tempted to download them as installments but I am not big on short stories I love to just sit down and get immersed in a storyline and read from start to finish I am too impatient to wait for the next part so I decided to wait until the Ivy Lane complete novel was released instead.

Tilly has had her life turned upside down and so she is making a new start in a new area in a new home a new job and a new hobby tending her plot at the local allotment.  She soon finds herself roped into help at the Ivy Lane meetings and to help run fundraising events. Before long the community soon make her feel like she belongs but will they be able to help her heal her broken heart?

I am so glad I waited for this to be released as a full length novel, I can see how this book would work well being sold in parts but for me I enjoyed the book so much I wouldn’t want a break and I would have been too eager to know what happened next I am not very patient as you can tell!

This book was a lovely easy light read full of a wonderful group of characters. Tilly who is our main character is easy warm to right from the first chapter she is determined, good natured but also has a vulnerable side to her too, it was clear from the start of this book that she had had her heart broken but we don’t know why, we are fed little hints as the storyline progresses but when we do find out what actually happened although I had an idea actually reading her telling what happened was an emotional part of the book.

All of the characters at Ivy Lane are all wonderful characters and you get a true feel of community spirit which is just what Tilly needed even if she didn’t think she wanted it. I especially enjoyed watching her friendship grow with dippy Gemma I thing because she is a fun character she manages to lighten the mood for Tilly and soon she is enjoying herself.

This was a praiseworthy read that has the community spirit shining through, a great light feel good read.

Kindle                       Paperback

Monday, 9 February 2015

Losing It by Helen Lederer

Today on the blog I am lucky to be joined by the wonderful Helen Lederer who will be answering some questions ahead of her launch for her new book Losing It.

1) Dare I ask what research you took for this book?
 Ha ha. Well, I need to keep my uptake of Chunky Kit Kats regular – just so I can empathize with Millie.

2) Your humor really shined through in this book, because you are known for your humor did you feel pressured to write a comical novel or did it just come naturally with this book?
 I’m thrilled you think that – I suppose I describe things in a certain way with certain words and I loved the way the structure of the novel allowed me to develop descriptions of places and people which encompassed funny words and naughty negative feelings as well… 

3) Did you get writers block whilst writing this book and what did you find helped to kick start the writing again?
I would lie down and watch daytime TV or eat, or occasionally walk to the litter bin at the bus stop ( and back of course) but I held firm – because I’d read that’s what you are supposed to do when panic sets in. 

4) If your book was to be made into a film who would you like to play Millie and Eugene ( it's ok we can have a weighted suit for Millie's character!)
Olivia Coleman - I’ve already mentioned it. Fat suits are fun... I told her that too. 

5) Do you have have a particular place where you like to write ? 
I write in my office – a very unhygienic hoarders careen of hair slides, old candles and business cards ... shameful 

6) How much input did you get in the design of your cover and what was your reaction when you got to see the finish copy?
I was obsessed about the shape of the kettle – and banged on about it – until the right amount of puffs had been inked in by a patient illustrator .(I also know an amazing cartoonist who offered his work for free to me.) 

7) Do you get much time to read and what was the last book you read? 
I find it hard to concentrate –but I am loving ‘Elisabeth is Missing’ and had great fun with ‘The Understudy’ by David Nichols. I’ve also got to read all of David Nobbs’ comic novels because I’m teaching comedy writing with him in November and wish to be well prepped.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us Helen I think Olivia Coleman sounds like the perfect actor to take on Millie!


As soon as I heard Helen Lederer was releasing a novel I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy because I love a book that can make me laugh and because Helen is known for her wit I was sure this was going to entertain me.

Millie who was once a “somebody” now seems to be down on her luck, she is in a terrible financial situation and whilst her cash flow is going down her weight is going up and up! Mille is given a life line when she is approached to become the face of a new diet pill, this could be the answer to all of her problems but will the weight come off that easy?

This book didn’t disappoint, Helen has managed to bring a topic of weight loss which the majority of us can relate to, and put a comical spin on it. I battle with my weight so I could sympathise with Millie but I take my hat off to her for some of the things she tried to help her lose weight. At one point in the book I was clenching my butt whilst reading one of the methods I just hope poor Helen didn’t have to road test all of these things in aid of research for this book!

Helen has an easy flow to her writing and the book keeps at a great pace, the only point my attention wavered was when Millie went on a trip to see daughter Mary in Papua New Guinea but as soon as she returned home I was back on track again.

Millie has a great group of quirky friends around her to help keep her focused and to try and help her reach her goal and they each in turn helped to bring humour to the book, but for me Millie was the one who really made me chuckle as she reminds me of myself the way she does so well to lose weight and then she self-destructs and sabotages her diet with treats!

This was a wonderful witty read about weight loss, friendships, sexual awakening and a storyline and main character many will relate to. I am sure this book will be a hit.

Losing It will be published 12th February but is available to pre-order below now.

Kindle                    Paperback

I am giving away a paperback copy of Losing It below. This is a worldwide Giveaway but please read the T&C. GOOD LUCK! 

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Friday, 6 February 2015

As Good as it Gets? by Fiona Gibson

Charlotte Bristow is worried about her husband Will. With her 16-year-old daughter Rosie newly signed to a top modelling agency, and Will recently out of a job, things are changing in their household. As Will dusts down his old leather trousers and starts partying with their new, fun neighbours, Charlotte begins to wonder what on earth is going on. So when Fraser, Charlotte’s ex – and father of Rosie – suddenly arrives back on the scene, she starts to imagine what might have been…

The last few books I have read have been quite heavy and emotional so I really needed something uplifting to read and when I am looking for something witty I always turn to Jane Costello or the wonderfully talented Fiona Gibson.

The Bristow family are like your typical family next door with the usual day to day problems. Dad Will is out of work, mum Charlotte is trying to hold the family together as well as her job and daughter Rosie has decided she wants to do some modelling work but Charlotte is a little reluctant to let her go ahead with it. Thank god for little Ollie who is a little angel! Can the Bristow family stay united through the daily stress and strains?

I absolutely loved this book. I was chuckling away, right from the off I could feel Charlotte’s hurt and anger through her letters at the beginning of the book but I did have to laugh at the “ I wish I could be a pigeon for just long enough to shit on your head” comment, I have never read a book that gets off to a funny flying start like this and I am sure this will be a comment you will hear from me now in the future!

The storyline did hold some serious and tender issues which were delivered delicately and because of the authors’ talented writing style although there were these delicate issues she still managed to keep the book light and witty. I found myself laughing on numerous occasions especially regarding the blow up doll incident!

What I love about Fiona Gibson’s books, this one included, is they are so down to earth she could almost be talking about the family over the road. She manages to take problems that a lot of us can relate to such as redundancies and family matters and our hearts go out to the characters because they are so well developed they feel real but before we can get overly sentimental she then quickly lifts us back up with a great burst of unexpected humour.

There were a couple of twists and turns in this book so I wasn’t sure what the outcome was going to be so I was eagerly turning the pages to see what lay ahead.

This is yet another entertaining, witty read by Fiona Gibson and it is definitely up there with in my favourite 2 by this author.

Kindle                    Paperback

Sunday, 1 February 2015

How to Make Friend by Fleur Smithwick

As a lonely child, Alice found comfort the same way so many others do - she invented a friend. Sam was always there when she needed him, until one day...he wasn't. 

Now, Alice's life almost resembles something happy, normal. She has a handful of close friends and a career as a photographer. But when a tragic accident shatters the world Alice has constructed, the sense of isolation that haunted her in childhood returns. And with it, so does Sam. To Alice, he looks and feels like a real person, but how can that be so?

And who will decide when it's time for him to leave again?

I finished reading How to Make a Friend last night but have left it until today to write my review as I am confused about my thoughts on this book.

The storyline jumps back and forward in time but follows Alice and her friend Sam, the problem being no-one else can see or hear Sam. Alice had a very challenging childhood with her mum and dad separated and her mum not a nurturing mother, Alice was often left to her own devices and she became a very lonely child but Sam was there to be her friend. Fast forward to the present time and Alice is involved in a car accident and while she deals with the consequences of the accident Sam reappears but her friends and family are worried for her own mental stability.

The first thing I will say about this book was that it had me hooked and I couldn’t put this book down so it does have an addictive feel to it and although the storyline moves back and forth in time it worked really well with this book and I didn’t feel like I was getting confused with the toing and froing. I loved the beginning of the book it was fast paced and eventful and it sparked my interest in our main character Alice and her clearly dysfunctional family and I was looking forward to seeing more of the friendship between Alice, Rory and Daniel but unfortunately we didn’t get to see much of that.

The book began to slow pace when Sam arrived and I was intrigued by his presence and the interaction between him and Alice at first but as the book progressed I began to get very confused and frustrated about Sam and also the way Alice was telling people about him even though she knew that people were concerned about her sanity I just wanted to shake her!

The book picks up towards the end again and the ending was not predictable. This is certainly a unique storyline, although I have read books before about spirit guides, ghosts and guardian angels this was something completely different.

Although this isn’t a favourite book of mine it still had something about it that kept me intrigued and I do think it was because it was unlike any storyline I had read before but it still didn’t win me around entirely but I would love to read another book by this author because her writing style was easy to follow.

Kindle                      Hardback